Transition Time for USD 320


There were new faces on Wamego’s USD 320 Board of Education. Board Vice President Amy Schwein presided at the first board meeting of the 2013-14 year, and called for the nomination of president. Board Member Richard Weixelman nominated and called on the board to cast their unanimous vote for Amy Schwein. Richard Weixelman was elected Board Vice President after being nominated in the same manner by Board member Richie Chrest.

The board began work on the 2013-14 school year. At Monday’s Board meeting, Board President Amy Schwein called for the adoption of the resolution specifying the dates and times for the Board meetings for the coming year, a resolution waiver of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for USD 320 financial reports, and approval of the revamped Classified and Certified Handbooks. The board approved all by a 7 to 0 vote.

The Board voted 7 to 0 allowing Superintendent Denise O’Dea to pursue changing the substitute teacher daily pay rate to an hourly system. O’Dea cited by changing the system, this could save the board substantial money and went over her justifications. The board asked her to survey the teacher’s affected and monitor any feedback. O’Dea said if the proposed plan doesn’t work, the Board isn’t locked in.

The Board also approved establishing a Sick Leave Pool for Classified personnel , and asked the board to contribute days to get the Pool started. The board thought the idea was a good one.

The board approved the final contracts for the purchase of property. Superintendent Denise O’Dea submitted the contracts for the purchase of the St. Bernard’s Catholic Church Property and corresponding leases. According to O’Dea, the attorneys on both sides are satisfied with the final contracts, which consist of a Real Estate Contract for the purchase of the Church property, a contract for lease from the Catholic Church to USD 320, and a contract to lease the USD 320 administration property to the Catholic Church. The leases were put in place because the Church wants to build their new Parish Hall and asked for a 2-year window to get it completed, and may need to use the current Parish Hall in the interim.

Several board members brought up different issues of concern over the purchase, but were reminded they approved the purchase at an earlier meeting held in Executive Session. Board member Mark Bettencourt made the motion to accept the three contracts as written. The vote was 4 to 3 with Board members Richie Chrest, and new board members Joe Steele and Rob Adams opposed.


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